British Standard BS 5422 - an update

4 May 2020 Carl Davison, Technical Manager

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has started the process of updating BS 5422:2009: Method for specifying thermal insulating materials for pipes, tanks, vessels, ductwork and equipment operating within the temperature range -40oC to +700oC. The BSI has formed a committee of interested parties including insulation manufacturers and industry specialists to fully review the existing standard.


The review of the standard will be undertaken by the committee, with BSI editing and an internal approval process following. A published Draft for Public Consultation is not expected to be available until the end of 2020 or early 2021. The public consultation period will last for 2 months and anyone can comment on the draft and suggest changes during this period. All comments submitted to the BSI will be considered, and the length of time this takes will depend on the number and complexity of the comments received. Provisionally 2 months has been set aside for this but ultimately the timescale will be determined by the quantity and complexity of any public comments. Final editing and typesetting will follow, taking approximately 4 months, with publication of not expected until the middle of 2021 at the earliest.


Changes that are introduced in a new version of BS 5422 will not have an immediate impact on the Building Regulations. The Governments of the UK will determine if any of these changes are carried through into new versions of Domestic and Non-Domestic Building Service Compliance Guides, and the Domestic and Non-Domestic Building Service Compliance Guide for Scotland. This is not an automatic process and will be determined separately for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

However, this does not mean business as usual for the industry until the next change in Building Regulations. Building services consultants can include any clause in project specifications at any time, and it is likely that the first adoption of any changes to BS 5422 will be through building services consultants. This could impact on what insulation contractors are required to install on site from when the standard is published – currently targeted for mid 2021.

How insulation contractors can help

The committee to draft the standard has already been formed, and Thermal Insulation Contractor Association (TICA) members are represented on the committee. If you are a TICA member and have any amendments that you want to be considered at the drafting stage these need to be put forward as soon as possible – this stage of the process is due to end in Autumn 2020.

There will be an opportunity to comment during the public consultation period, but responses can only be considered if they are put through the correct official route. So far, suggested changes include alterations to existing thermal insulation thickness tables and guidance to make the document more informative and bring it up to date.

This is your opportunity to address any issues you have with the existing BS 5422 standard and help shape the way you insulate for the next 10 years.

  8 months 2 months 2 months 2 months 1 month 1 month 1 month
5 year review  Committee drafting Editing & Approval for public consultation Consultation - Draft for public comment Final document editing Approval to publish Typesetting Publication
British Standards are reviewed on a 5 year basis Drafting of new version of the BS 5422 Standard by sub committee of teh BSI thermal insulation main committee BSI edit the sub-committee draft and send to main committee for approval  Any member of the public can comment on the proposed changes through official form All public comments are considered and included, rejected, or partially included BSI final approval of the document Confirmed final text is typeset New version of the Standard is published
Complete In progress